By Taniya Dutta
These incredible pieces of jewellery are work of a talented young Indian mother who has been transforming breastmilk of new mums in beautiful pendants and keepsakes.
Preethy Vijay, 30, an art and craft enthusiast from Chennai in south India is the first such designer in the country who has been making heartwarming keepsakes for new mums who wish to preserve their very first moments of motherhood.
Preethy uses 20ml of breastmilk and turn it into ‘plastic’ using preservatives and mould in resin for about a week to give the drops of milk the shape of cute heart, baby feet or hands and encrust it in gorgeous silver pendants or earrings.
Just a year old into the business, the mother of one runs a Facebook page for taking orders and says the response to her amazing talent has been overwhelming.
Preethy says: “I get more than 30 orders a month but I can barely keep up with them.
“The response has been terrific. The new mothers are excited to preserve their breastmilk or first strand of hair of their babies.
“I also get approached by fathers and brothers who wish to gift their wives and sisters an everlasting gift. It is all fun and exciting.
“To be honest I do not see this as a business. Art is my passion and I have found a new way to explore it.
“It is a wonderful feeling to be able to create something so magical using breastmilk that is a reminder of the beautiful bond between a mother and her child.”
Preethy started her novel business in 2016 after a new mother had asked if such jewelries are available in India on a social media page that she also follows.
To have never heard of something like this before, Preethy was drawn to the idea and did a lengthy research on internet. After comprehending the process she asked the same woman for sample of her breastmilk.
After trials and experiments for nearly six months, Preethy succeeded in making a pendent out of breastmilk.
She said: “I was happy that the milk could be turned into a bead but after a week it started turning yellow and spoiling. It was only after a experimenting for nearly six months that I perfected the skills.
“I also took help from some friends who are chemistry graduates, found the right way and preservatives the milk.
“When I handed it to the customer she was over the moon. That feeling of joy on her face was priceless.”
Preethy says the colour of the finished piece varies depending on the sample of milk and no two pieces are ever the same.
“Some milk is more yellow and has more fat content than others so the colour and thickness of the jewellery varies.
“While normally the piece can last forever, it does change slight colour over the period of time and turns yellow.
“I also suggest mothers to not wear them continuously to avoid wear and tear but the pieces are durable and if cared for properly can last really long.”
Preethy imports moulds for jewellery from
United States and offers more than 30 designs of pendants, earrings, finger rings and keepsakes like keychains in plastic, metal and sterling silver that vary from £7 to £52.
Orders take up to three months to complete.
She says: “I first preserve the milk for about three to six months and spend time on one piece at a time to avoid any confusion. Also I make sure to label all the samples with names of the mothers so not to mix with other orders.”
Preethy, who could not create a piece for herself is now working on a way to keep the tooth of her seven year old son Kanav in a keepsake and says if she succeeds, she will work on the idea for her next line of jewellery.
“After breastmilk I am experimenting with tooth of kids. I get requests from mothers who no longer are lactating to preserve the tooth of their children. I feel it is a great idea and I am working on it.”